Trinity College Dublin and the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) have agreed a new strategic partnership. The TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty and ESRI Director, Professor Frances Ruane, together signed the bilateral agreement this week which will enable both institutions to build collaborative and complementary strengths in the social sciences.
Speaking on behalf of Trinity College Dublin, the Provost, Dr John Hegarty said: “The ESRI plays a very significant role in Irish society in the area of social science research. Its activities complement those of Trinity College extremely well and there are already several areas of collaboration. This new agreement will allow us to jointly take on the bigger challenges and to make an even greater contribution to social policy and to Ireland’s role in the world. “
TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty and ESRI Director, Professor Frances Ruane signed the strategic partnership.
One of the first initiatives under the new alliance will be the establishment of the Irish Centre for Longitudinal Research (ICLR). This Centre will combine the expertise in both institutions, and provide opportunities for developing joint research projects and for training graduate students and other researchers in the associated methodologies.
Longitudinal and life course studies involve recording information from the same group of people at different points in time. As such, they are fundamentally different from most survey-based research, which is generally based on information recorded from a sample of participants at a single point in time. By returning to the same group of respondents over time longitudinal studies greatly enhance the analytical potential of the data in question.
ESRI Director, Professor Frances Ruane said: “This alliance gives us the opportunity to build initiatives like the Centre that will enhance national capacity in social science research and provide evidence to inform economic and social policy making.”
Other joint initiatives in 2010 include an ESRI-TCD conference on the theme of Globalisation in October.